Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

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JohnAL
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by JohnAL » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:55 am

Oh for the happy joys of life with a monitor’s privileges!

I took a hot bath almost every evening as a mon and (together with the accessibility of many bread crusts as a bottom-of-the-table mon in the Dining Hall) have for the last nearly seventy years always chosen a bath and bread crust (not necessarily together) when I can, over a shower and non-crust bread slices. Further, during times of drought at CH I ignored the 10(?) inch, black painted level in the bath, intended to reduce water consumption. (Otherwise I was public spirited, I'd like to believe.)

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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:06 pm

In retrospect, I wonder why 'strip washing' was not practised at CH. After all, no one had any qualms about stripping to get into a bath or the notorious changing-room trough. My wife tells me that when she was a girl (i.e. at about the same time I was a boy), it was quite normal for her on school excursions and the like. There were no private wash-basins in the hostels, but washing one's private areas was considered so important that any embarrassment was quickly overcome.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by postwarblue » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:32 am

In Col B in my time the changing room trough was never used, nor the showers above it, except that the copper shower head cud be used like a clothes stand to hold one's bluecoat while brushing it down and cleaning it before showing it up to a monitor on Saturday mornings. Some learned that if they left their bluecoat there while sidetracked onto something else, on return they might find proof that the shower did actually work.
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by sejintenej » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:53 pm

postwarblue wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:32 am
In Col B in my time the changing room trough was never used, nor the showers above it, ........................... on return they might find proof that the shower did actually work.
Better than those in Col A where I don't think a drop had ever passed through
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by Foureyes » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:39 pm

"...during times of drought at CH I ignored the 10(?) inch, black painted level in the bath..."

Ah, yes, I remember that 10inch line, too. Obviously, there must have been a water shortage, but was it confined to C.H. or Sussex, or was it national? Does anyone know?
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by J.R. » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:56 pm

I don't ever remember any water restrictions through drought during my time at CH, so I assume you are referring to the 1970's and the times of the hose-pipe bans in the south of England.
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by Foureyes » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:29 pm

No, it was while I was in Lamb B, which places it between 1949 and 1955, probably 1951-1953-ish.I recall the 10inch line with absolute clarity.
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by DavidRawlins » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:18 pm

I think the line was set at 5"; I think that it was to save fuel.
The trough was certainly used when I was in Col A, 46-53.
Col A 1946-1953

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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by Katharine » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:00 pm

I'm surprised that the depth allowed was as much as 10", that's pretty deep and far deeper than our line! (Or wasit 10" with a boy in the bath?). 6s didn't actually have any markings but some houses had markers fixed to the plug chain at about 6".
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by LongGone » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:25 pm

Once again. Maine A in the 50s seems to be an outlier. The changing room trough was used a lot, especially after rugby and cross country runs. My memories are of a steam-filled atmosphere with extremely muddy water everywhere and the trough solidly packed. As for limits on the bath, I remember none, in fact one of the pleasures was to be almost submerged (they were pretty deep baths) and keep adding hot water as needed.
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:42 am

LongGone wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:25 pm
Once again. Maine A in the 50s seems to be an outlier. The changing room trough was used a lot, especially after rugby and cross country runs. My memories are of a steam-filled atmosphere with extremely muddy water everywhere and the trough solidly packed. As for limits on the bath, I remember none, in fact one of the pleasures was to be almost submerged (they were pretty deep baths) and keep adding hot water as needed.
I would agree with all of this re ThB in the 50s/60s. The water in the trough was changed about every 5-10 minutes (say, eight people). The trough held four people: the middle two back to back, facing the ones at the end. I heard (is it true, anyone?) that in BaA, the heavy brass 'key' (a sort of spanner) to the hot-water tap was kept by the housemaster (Littlefield) who supervised the troughing ostensibly to prevent energy wastage (!).
The water, incidentally, was VERY hot. And some macho types delighted in ensuring that as little cold water as possible was added, to everyone else's discomfort.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by jhopgood » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:01 pm

The trough and indeed the lav ends and baths, were both a bit of an eye opener.
The trough was full of muddy water with people of all ages sitting as though they were a rowing quartet. All it seemed to do was get off the worst of the mud. I have no idea who controlled the changing of the water nor the temperature.
Neither Cherniavsky nor Miller came anywhere near. In fact we were always surprised when a master came into the changing rooms. It normally meant someone was in trouble.
There seemed no limit on how much water was put in the lav end bath. Indeed, some filled it and then made waves, like a wave machine, by shunting back and forwards, to see whether they could get the overspill of water as far as the door.
As many will remember, at the other end of the lav end, was a toilet behind a screen. A suitable piece of carbolic soap could be hurled down the lav end floor, so that it hit the inclined skirting board and came back over the screen. Woe betide anyone who was meditating there at the time.
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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by michael scuffil » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:58 pm

A suitable piece of carbolic soap could be hurled down the lav end floor, so that it hit the inclined skirting board and came back over the screen.

We made a sport of this, called Boggo. The idea was to get the soap to come back as far as possible.

There was a period in the Summer Term of, I think, 1959 (plus/minus a year) when a mechanical failure of some sort meant there was no hot water for about a fortnight. Even the cold water supply was a bit iffy. But that was the only time I remember water being restricted. Our carefree use of water, hot or cold, would probably surprise the modern young just as much as the changing-room trough would horrify them.

Housemasters who ventured into changing rooms were viewed (probably rightly) with great suspicion, and if they were wise, they didn't.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by keibat » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:33 pm

Michael Scuffil recalls:
My recollection is that we had clean underpants only once a week (but I may be wrong). (YUK, especially as opportunities for intimate washing were limited.) Bands and socks twice.
Yes. Sadly so. I can visualize, curiously vividly, the midweek (Wednesday) bundle of socks and bands, and no, there can't have been any underpants in that. The Saturday bundle was significantly larger.

It was spending half a year living with a family in California between leaving CH and going to university that decisively changed my practices both for bodily hygiene (daily showers on very nearly every day since) and cleanliness of body-adjacent clothing (tho' I do sometimes wear socks more than once).

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Re: Clean clothes at Horsham in the 40s & 50s

Post by michael scuffil » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:09 pm

(tho' I do sometimes wear socks more than once).

This made me wonder how often I changed my socks. Then I realized I hadn't worn any for at least four months, and my memory doesn't go any further back. And don't ask me how often I change my tie.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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